Cruising with J9: Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty

2011-07-06 14:10

The thing I love most about new cars is that they only have to be serviced every 15?000km or so. And, most modern cars remind you when your next service is due. Not so with an older car.

There are still thousands of older cars on our roads – most of which are still in good running order. But these are the ones that need constant tender love and care. They need to be serviced at least twice a year and fluids need to be checked regularly.

By servicing your car religiously, you’ll save yourself a lot of money and prevent more problems. Oil needs to be replaced with fresh, thicker oil especially when seasons change. In winter older cars take longer to heat up and in warmer temperatures oil gets hot quickly.

Not changing oil or the fuel, air and oil filters causes build-up and often causes a leak.

I have an old VW Golf MkII and it taught me many lessons, like checking oil levels and making sure I fill up my tank.

I loved that car and made my mechanic friends teach me how to service it myself.

It helps when you have the basic knowledge to identify small problems and knowing how to fix them. I’m no mechanic, but I would lie on the ground under my car just to check where oil or fuel leaks came from.

So don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. It always helps when you’re not completely oblivious to anything so that when meeting with a mechanic or visiting a workshop you know what to expect and these “experts” cannot woodwink you.

It doesn’t hurt to hang around and keep an eye while your car is being serviced at a private place as one can often pick up something one can do by oneself.

Also make sure all your lights are always working and check your tyres and spare wheel in the boot. It takes no time whatsoever to walk around the car to make sure you don’t have a puncture or flat tyre.

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